Fire broke out at the home of Red Boiling Springs’ Mayor Willie Brown on Thursday evening, August 28th. It was called in to 911 by a couple driving along Bennett Hill Road at 6:13 p.m. Red Boiling Springs Fire and Rescue and the Lafayette Fire Department were on the scene within minutes of the call as were the Mayor and some of the city’s council members, who came to help.
Red Boiling Springs Fire Chief Randy Hagan said, “Smoke was coming from the roof and from all the vents in the attic. We entered the house to make sure no one was inside and found flames coming through the ceiling in the kitchen area.”
There is no determination yet what caused the fire, although the Mayor said he’d had trouble with the heating system this past winter and currently was having some trouble with the cooling system. He said it was “hard to watch a house he’d had for sixteen years go up in flames,” and that he was glad his daughter and granddaughter who live with him were not home when the fire broke out.
There were no injuries and the fire was out by about 7:20 p.m. The house was lost to fire, smoke and water damage. Joe Tuttle, who called in the fire, found one of the Mayor’s dogs, Midgit, on the back porch of the burning house and brought her out to safety and later to the Mayor. The other resident dog, Tinkerbell, was found the next day by the Mayor’s son, Bruce Brown, scared but unharmed.
The fire rekindled the next morning. A neighbor called it in to the fire department at about 5:30 a.m. and the firemen came out to investigate. They spent the morning monitoring the smoking house and did what they could to control the burn. Meanwhile, not ten feet from a room with “2000 rounds of live ammunition,” former police officer Bruce Brown, worked to salvage what he could from the house. He found some photos and his father’s treasured ‘Domain of the Golden Dragon’ certificate which he said would make his Dad happy. “My dad is doing alright,” he said. “He’s a tough old bird.”